Criticism of Mormonism/Books/N

Table of Contents

Analysis of books critical of Mormonism: N

Index of claims

Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage" indexed by page number.

Use of sources

Summary: An examination and response to how the author of Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage" interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number.

Prejudicial language

Summary: An examination of how the author employs loaded and prejudicial language in this work in order to discredit Mormonism.


Summary: “Presentism” is an analytical fallacy in which past behavior is evaluated by modern standards or mores. We examine some of our favorite examples of this fallacy in Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage".

Mind reading

Summary: The author often attempts to interpret what Joseph was thinking as a way to lead the reader to a predetermined conclusion regarding Joseph Smith.


Summary: The author claims that the Church deliberately hid or obscured information. We examine those claims in this section.


Summary: We point out some instances in which the author pursues his quest to show that Joseph was "romantic" with his plural wives.


Summary: In many cases, Joseph is simply assumed to be guilty of any offense.


Summary: The author, following the lead of D. Michael Quinn, emphasizes "magick" in Joseph's early life.

Response to claims made in No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn Brodie

Summary: Louis Midgley: "Though Fawn McKay Brodie forged a reputation as a controversial psychohistorian, it is her 1945 biography of Joseph Smith for which she has always been known among Latter-day Saints. She thought of herself, and has been portrayed by cultural Mormons, as an "objective" historian who had taken the measure of "the Mormon prophet." Her death on 10 January 1981 was followed by tributes in which she was depicted as a heroic figure who had courageously liberated herself from bondage to the mind-numbing religious orthodoxy of her parochial childhood and who had thereby set in place among Latter-day Saints what one of her admirers called "a new climate of liberation." Fawn McKay Brodie: A Biographer's Life—the latest and most comprehensive of these tributes to Brodie—constitutes a substantial addition to the tiny academic specialty that might be called 'Brodie studies'."[1]

Jump to Subtopic:

  1. Louis Midgley, "The Legend and Legacy of Fawn Brodie," FARMS Review of Books 13:1 (2001).